Borosyndicate—a brick-and-mortar glass art gallery and retail location, complete with a separate glassblowing facility—produces its own brand of items as well as known glass brands.
The gallery and storefront features a Hall of Fame of glassblowing artists known for various styles, characters, and techniques. You’ll find legends like Ryan O’Keefe, Steve Sizelove, Peter Muller, Lord, Jeff Green, and Jeff Smart. (See examples below.)
Glassblowing art is steeped in tradition within the cannabis and art worlds, beginning with pioneers like Bod Snodgrass and Jason Harris (Jerome Baker Designs). This type of art dates back to the 1970s and gained popularity later on with spoons, bubblers, Sherlocks, hammers, waterpipes, rigs, and so on. Artists frequently push the boundaries of what animals, characters, and shapes can be created for functional art.
Borosyndicate is where glass becomes fine art: People pay top dollar for creations made by the artists with the most cred and the pieces with the most features like percolators or diffusers. On the top shelf areas, you’ll find high-end fine glass with brands like Illadelph and Sovereignty Glass. But you can find artistically-inspired spoon pipes, heavy with marbles and colorful swirl features, for bargain prices. No two are alike.
Kenny Holladay and Evan Ballance opened the Salt Lake City, Utah-based operation Borosyndicate Productions many years ago, with the retail store Borosyndicate. Holladay himself is mostly self-taught in the art of glassblowing and helps set up apprenticeships for glassblowing students.
“Borosyndicate has been in business for over 15 years,” Holladay told High Times. The gallery and storefront retains high ratings online, with testimonials going back years.
Borosilicate glass is often preferred because of its ability to withstand thermal variation and mostly, its sheer strength and resistance to shatter breaks. The breakability factor is an important thing to consider when purchasing fine glass. Heavier pipes and waterpipes tend to last longer than cheap imitations.
“The scientific name of the type of glass we work with is borosilicate,” he said. “We took a spin on the name and changed it to Borosyndicate. We are a like-minded group of artists who all have the same interests which is making art out of borosilicate glass. Hence the reason for syndicate instead of silicate.”
While other glass retail joints come and go, Borosyndicate has lasted for the long haul. “When COVID first started we thought we were going to shut down and no one was going to come in, but we were fortunate enough to have an incredible staff that were more than willing to come to work every day without missing a beat,” he said. “Our loyal and amazing patrons supported us more than ever during that difficult time which helped us tremendously get through the worst part of the pandemic.”
The operation opened multiple locations throughout the years. “We did have two locations, but unfortunately, we recently had to close one location due to the landlord turning the building into climate-controlled storage,” Holladay said. “At the moment, we have one brick-and-mortar retail location as well as a separate glassblowing facility where all of our in-house glass is created. We are working on getting a second retail location open again very soon.”
You can purchase directly through the website Borosyndicate.com or Borosyndicate’s Instagram @borosyndicate. You can also find other needed accessories such as grinders, scales, dab pads, and so forth.
The Artists of Borosyndicate
Check out the current roster of a handful of standouts at the Borosyndicate gallery, where you can get a showpiece to display on the mantle.
Ryan O’Keefe (@sdryno)
Steve Sizelove (@steve_sizelove)
Peter Muller (@mullerglass)
Jeff Green (@jeffgreenglass)
Jeff Smart (@jsmartglass)